Are you wondering which type of fasting is best for you? Because these are the 7 different ways that you can follow an Intermittent Fasting protocol to burn fat and gain muscle, as well as other benefits.
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If you’re anything like me you’ve gotten sick of having to eat every 2 to three hours just to burn some fat and stay lean. So you might’ve discovered the beauty of intermittent fasting, and you’re excited about seeing the results without having to meal prep all day long. But then you quickly learn that there’s not just one way of doing intermittent fasting. That’s where things get a little confusing because you run into terms like the lean gains protocol, the warrior diet, the alternate day fast, the 5:2 diet, keto fasting, and the one meal a day diet as well as many other protocols that ultimately leave you feeling confused as to where to begin. So today I want to show you which intermittent fasting approach is best and specifically which one will work best for you and your particular goals. Let’s start first with a common type of fasting known as eat – stop – eat. With eat-stop-eat you would fast for a full 24 hours on 1 or 2 nonconsecutive days of the week. This may not sound like it’s going to do much, but If you’re normally eating about 1800 calories per day, that means that by fasting 2 days per week, you’ll be cutting 3600 calories away from your weekly total. Most people think that you have to maintain a calorie deficit every day of the week to burn fat, but fat loss and fat gain isn’t limited to 24 hour periods, it happens over the course of days, weeks, and months. To help illustrate this, if you went with a traditional daily calorie restriction approach and you subtracted 500 calories per day everyday for a week you would wind up burning 3500 calories at the end of the week. This is a hundred calories less than the 3600 calories you would burn just by fasting two days per week. (1) So this plan can be very beneficial for those of you that don’t want to eat small portions everyday and don’t want to feel like you’re on a diet all week long. It’s also great if you want to try intermittent fasting but don’t want to worry about feeding and fasting windows on a daily basis. On the other hand It’s not so great for those of you that cannot imagine fasting for 24 hours straight without it feeling like absolute torture. Even though you can still eat something everyday by for example eating up until 6pm, stopping, and then starting to eat again at 6pm the next day… it still might be too difficult for some people to stick to. It’s also NOT a good strategy for those of you that will feel the need to binge on the days of the week that you’re not fasting. The plan will only work if you eat reasonably and stay at around maintenance levels during the other 5 days of the week. Another type of fasting that’s similar, but might be easier for certain people is the 5:2 diet. This is almost exactly like “eat – stop – eat” except instead of eating 0 calories twice a week you would eat around 500 calories twice a week. So based on our previous example this would leave you with a 2600 calorie deficit at the end of the week instead of 3600. This is great for people that want to ease into an “eat – stop – eat” protocol and it’s also great if eating a small number of calories can help hold you over for the rest of the day. However, it’s not so great for those of you that will only get hungrier after eating that small amount of calories. For example I do a lot better not eating anything at all because once I start eating I want to eat more, so if that’s what you’re like you may want to skip out on the 5:2 method. Another fasting strategy that’s more advanced than eat – stop – eat and the 5:2 diet, is the alternate day fast. With an alternate day fast you would fast for 24 hours every other day. So rather than only fasting twice per week, you would wind up fasting anywhere from 3 to 4 days per week depending on the week. There’s also a modified alternate day fast where you would still fast every other day, but you would be allowed to eat about 500 calories on your fasting days, rather than eating nothing at all….
(1) IF does not affect whole-body glucose, lipid, or protein metabolism in healthy lean men
(2) “the absence of a compensatory increase in hunger in conjunction with an increase in sensations of fullness may contribute to the weight loss efficacy of an 8-week ADF regimen.”
(3) ADF is an efficacious dietary method, and may be superior to VLCD for some patients because of ease of compliance, greater fat‐mass loss and relative preservation of fat‐free mass.